New Research Shows GORE® Protective Barriers to be Best Choice for Reducing Firefighter Heat Stress

Indianapolis, Indiana, April 20, 2016 – At the FDIC International 2016 Conference, W. L. Gore & Associates presented the results of a human study that evaluated the physiological impact of protective barriers currently available in turnout gear. Conducted by a third party, this study confirmed that wearing the GORE® PARALLON™ liner system delivered the highest breathability followed closely by CROSSTECH® black moisture barrier, with both significantly better than the competition.

A group of firefighters wearing turnout gear completed a defined work/rest cycle in a controlled environment while their body core temperatures, heart rates, and skin temperatures were monitored. Over a period of several weeks, the same participants repeated the trial three times so they could wear each set of gear containing one of the three different protective barriers. Before the trial began, each turnout gear composite was tested for Total Heat Loss (THL) and Resistance to Sweat Evaporation (RET) to determine which test method was more aligned with human physiological results. Several results of the trial were significant:

  • First, the firefighters’ physiological responses were the best when they were wearing gear with Gore’s protective barriers.
  • Second, all of the firefighters were able to complete the trial while they were wearing gear with Gore’s protective barriers. On the contrary, 40 percent of them could not finish the test when wearing the competitive barrier because their heart rates exceeded their maximum rates, which were established as part of the safety criteria before the trial began.
  • Finally, the RET results directly correlated with the participants’ physiological response, whereas THL did not.

According to Matthew Decker, research scientist in Gore’s Fabrics division, “The human body can be extremely sensitive to small increases in core temperature. U.S. military studies have shown that once your body core temperature reaches 100°F, each increase of only 0.1°F is physiologically significant. The results of this study clearly show that the choice of protective barrier in turnout gear has a measurable impact on a firefighter. And GORE® protective barriers manage firefighter heat stress significantly better than the competitive barrier.”

Visit www.GoreProtectiveFabrics.com/Heat-Stress-Management for more information about this study.

About W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

Gore is a technology-driven company focused on discovery and product innovation. Well known for waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX fabric, the company’s portfolio includes everything from high-performance fabrics and implantable medical devices to industrial manufacturing GORE® Protective Barriers Shown to Reduce heat Stress Better CROSSTECH, GORE‐TEX, PARALLON, GORE and design are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates components and aerospace electronics. Founded in 1958 and headquartered in Newark, Delaware, Gore employs more than 10,000 associates worldwide. Gore is one of a select few companies to appear on all of the U.S. “100 Best Companies to Work For” lists since the rankings debuted in 1984.The company also appears regularly on similar lists around the world. Learn more at www.gore.com.

 

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